Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chores, Allowance and the 21st Century

When I was a kid, chores and allowance were "the norm" for pretty much every family in our neighborhood. In our family, chores were assigned and posted on the fridge. Over the years there may have been a switch here and there in the compensation system (flat rate weekly allowance vs. per chore) but the values and requirements remained the same: Money = Responsibility. I can still remember the craft projects we did in Brownies or Vacation Bible School that consisted of decorating baby food jars to hold one's allowance. Ours was a three-jar system: one for savings, one for church, and one to spend. I still think allowances and chore lists are a good idea and was pleased to find that so many others feel the same way. In fact, there's so many families using a chore/allowance system that website and mobile app designers are finding innovative ways for parents and kids to manage their own systems in the 21st century. Here are just a few of the sites or apps available:

Based on my post above, I gotta say, Three Jars is my favorite.
ThreeJars makes allowance fun and easy for 5 to 13 year old kids and their parents. Kids learn to manage their "money"through saving, spending, and charitable giving jars- with guidance from Mom and Dad. 

NOTE: ThreeJars.com has a 15-day free trial and an annual family membership of $30.
FirstKidBank.com is a virtual bank that always knows your child's current balance and what chores they've completed.Make deposits & withdraws and track chore progress from your computer or mobile phone.Your child develops the financial smarts that come from managing their own money -- without the problems of cash. When your child’s ready, add:
  • savings accounts with interest
  • charity accounts
  • borrowing and finance charges

MoneyTrail.net offers free allowance and money management for teens and families. Web or mobile app. Keep track of cash, credit, gift cards and checks.

4Chores focuses on the tasks, not the money management. However, there are added features:
4Chores does much more than track chores. It teaches kids about accountability, responsibility, and encourages them to donate time and money to their community. Kids can even use 4Chores to run their own neighborhood business where they can do chores for neighbors, and even donate their time to those neighbors in need.

Have another website or mobile app to share? Feel free to leave a link with your comment!

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